What Do Kenyon and George W. Bush Have in Common?

Above: the landscaping at the Bush Center. Below: a proposal drawing from the Kenyon master plan.

Above: the landscaping at the Bush Center. Below: a proposal drawing from the Kenyon master plan.

Probably not much. But it’s a small world, and as it happens both Kenyon and the 43rd president are among the clients of Cambridge, Mass. landscape architecture firm Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc (MVVA). When Dubya’s presidential library opens on May 1, it will be surrounded by “a sustainable, native Texas landscape” situated on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. MVVA also recently designed a master plan for Kenyon’s campus.

The firm focuses on creating “environmentally sustainable and experientially rich places,” and the Texas project includes clearings for wildlife habitats, wildflowers and native prairie grasses. And say what you will about Bush’s environmental record, but the Center has also been designed to be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certified. The Gund Gallery and Horvitz Art Building are only Silver certified.

The Bush Center’s website mentions that MVVA has worked on “master planning projects at the University of Washington, Cornell, Yale, Penn, Harvard, Princeton, Wellesley and Vassar,” but fails to mention us. Hmm, I wonder why?

6 responses

  1. Laura Bush is into plant conservation and stuff- she recently helped create some sort of environmental literacy plan in texas to educate texans about outdoor resources & conserving plants. Perhaps she had a bit of a say in this new library plan?

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